Talk about the birds and bees

2016-11-30 06:01
Adv. Kuni Ditira – Social Observer

Adv. Kuni Ditira – Social Observer

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How old should a child be before you have the conversation about the birds and the bees ?

I previously wrote that I have never had that discussion with anybody, to the extent that when I was pregnant I did not even know how a child is born or what happens during childbirth.

In a case, a parent was called to the school because two ten-year-old boys had written to each other about sex and having babies. The principal felt that this was the topic for the parents to discuss with their children.

I suspect it was because a parent is supposed to know exactly when it is the right time to discuss this.

Unfortunately, children grow up fast and are exposed to technology and information and sometimes the parents wait until it is too late.

I was staying with my sister-in-law’s daughter and when she was ten I informed her about the menstrual cycle and some people thought it was too early. Ten-year-olds are already aware of developments in their bodies, as part of nature.

I think one should start as early as possible, using examples and language which a child can understand.

My grand-daughter was three years old when her mummy got pregnant. She already knew that it was her sister in her mother’s tummy.

It showed that she had some information. The next step was to add on to that and give more information in a fashion that she would understand.

We are afraid to do that. What happens then, is that they get this half-cooked information from their friends.

During our time we used to say, “ke dilo tse snaaks” meaning these are horrible things or issues to speak about. So we knew that you do not talk about anything relating to sexuality. Fortunately, I will never have to talk to my grandchildren about that as it is their parents’ prerogative. I however, must be ready to answer the resulting questions. A child must feel comfortable with one to ask one such questions. It is better that they ask you and not their friends, as the friends may give misinformation due to insufficient knowledge.

  • Expresswelcomes anyone interested in contributing to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho or English) via email to teboho.setena@­volksblad.com.

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